How to Prevent Malware

It’s 2023, and technology continues to evolve exponentially. As a result, it’s not surprising that cybercriminals are utilizing malware and further developing it to infiltrate computers, networks, and organizations in the US and across the world.
Cybercriminals are craftier than ever, so it’s important that both organizations and normal individuals know how to prevent malware to increase the security of their computers and networks. Data can be stolen in an instant, so malware prevention has become a key responsibility for anyone that owns programmable devices.
Don’t panic – in this blog, we’ll cover what you need to know about malware, exploring how to prevent malware in depth. Let’s jump right in.

What is Malware?

The term ‘malware’ is a portmanteau of the words, ‘malicious’ and ‘software’ – so, you get the gist of its definition from these words alone. Malicious software can refer to any sort of program or code that is designed to harm systems.
If asked to describe malware in three words, intrusive, sneaky, and dangerous would do. Cybercriminals use malware to invade devices and networks, disrupting their functionality. Some individuals might assume that their computer is simply faulty or needs repairing, but in fact, it has been infected with nasty malware.
And that’s just how slithery malware can be – you might not even know your system has been polluted.

The Reasons for Malware are Vast

You might be asking, “Why?” – well, cybercriminals don’t always reveal their motives. However, it’s probably safe to say that there’s a myriad of reasons why they plan malware attacks. Here’s a few:
  • Stealing personal data for identity theft
  • Stealing financial information for fraudulent purposes
  • Vengeance (angry ex-employees, for instance)
  • Political reasons

The Different Types of Malware

Malware is an umbrella term, meaning that it encompasses a collection of programs and codes that have malicious intent. Some examples include:
  • Viruses – one of the most common types of malware is a virus; these are usually in the form of an email attachment that once opened, the virus begins to spread on the device.
  • Ransomware – organizations are the typical targets, wherein the ransomware installs itself onto a device, encrypting their files and demanding a ransom (mostly in the form of cryptocurrency).
  • Worms – one of the more frustrating malware types to deal with, worms can infect machine to machine by copying themselves after exploiting a security weakness.
  • Spyware – a malware (without the user’s knowledge) program that’s installed on a device, capturing personal information and internet activity to monitor communications.
  • Trojan viruses – a popular malware type, Trojans scam users into downloading them by acting as harmless applications; once launched, Trojans can attack and crash devices, steal data, and more.
  • Adware – this type of malware program bombards users with disruptive advertisements, from pop-ups to blinking ads.
Remember: the above list isn’t an exhaustive collection of the types of malware available. Those above only just scratch the surface – there are also malware variants.

Malware Variants Are Increasing… So, What Does This Mean?

Just like a virus, malware can have variants – and this is where malware attack prevention can become a little bit more complex. Cybercriminals constantly modify malware to create more and more variants, which are upgraded versions of the original malware.
One report discovered 465,501 never-before-seen malware variants that were identified in 2022 alone. This figure is a 5% year-over-year increase, showing the continued prevalence of malware variants and the growing need for high quality malware prevention and detection.

The Telltale Signs of a Malware Infection

So, how can you tell that you have a malware infection? There are several signs that could indicate that your device has been exposed to malware, such as:
  • Operating system (OS) performance slows down
  • Fans are loud and whirring at top speed even though you’re not doing anything taxing on the computer
  • Ads are popping up constantly
  • System crashes or freezes with the potential blue screen of death (BSOD) (indicates a fatal Windows error)
  • Random spike in internet activity
  • Weird loss of disk space
  • Failure to open files and folders

Taking Precautions Can Help

The prevention of malware is possible through users’ own initiative. There are several safety and security measures that you can take to prevent malware from infesting your device and network. For example, it might be worthwhile to:
  • Regularly change passwords – it can be inconvenient and time consuming, but changing your passwords regularly is one way to prevent malware from overtaking your computer; emails, social media accounts, online banking accounts, and your top shopping websites are the important sites to consider changing passwords for.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up ads when surfing the web – better yet, you should install an ad blocker for your browsers to block random ads from popping up on your screen; no matter how tempting it is to click on an ad, don’t!
  • Don’t open mysterious email attachments – be wary of email attachments from unknown senders as these are one-way cybercriminals discreetly send malware.
  • Ignore strange links in emails, social media messages, and texts – random links can catch people off guard but remember that these could lead you to a malware infection.
  • Update your OS, browsers, and other essential software – making sure that these softwares are patched with the latest updates ensures that these function properly, minimizing gaps in your security.
  • Check the website domain – fraudulent websites should be avoided, so take note of the domain; if it’s not .com, .mil, .org, .net, .edu, .biz, or other safe domains, then leave the site immediately.
  • Use multi-factor authentication – also known as MFA, this is a great method for creating a multi-step login process, adding another layer of protection on top of entering your password.
  • Create backups of your data – if your files are inaccessible, your backup saves can help you recover them.

But, It’s Better to Have Ultimate Computer Malware Prevention

While it can be useful to take the above security precautions in mind, it’s also crucial that you install a legitimate malware prevention and detection program if possible. Also referred to as antivirus software, these programs can offer the highest level of malware prevention, effectively protecting your computer from all sorts of malware.
Malware prevention software is specifically designed to detect and remove any existing malware on your device; they can thoroughly scan your computer and block any future malware threats.
For maximum protection, it’s recommended to employ the above list, plus the installation of a malware prevention and detection program.

iolo’s Malware Killer™

For example, iolo’s Malware Killer™ provides malware removal support and the prevention of malware. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Malware Killer™ identifies and familiarizes itself with the newest malware threats, analyzing files and instantly detecting any type of malware.
Once detected, it destroys the malware before it can corrupt your system and networks.
If your computer is already struggling with a malware infection, Malware Killer™ also acts as an exterminator.

The Benefits of a Malware Prevention Software

A malware prevention software like iolo’s Malware Killer™ offers a wide range of benefits that individual users and organizations can take advantage of to enhance their computer security. Below, you’ll find a (by no means exhaustive) list of some of the benefits you could reap:
  • Exceptional malware support that identifies and eliminates threats – realizing that your device has been compromised can be frightening, but with a software like Malware Killer™, you don’t have to worry about a thing, you can simply let the software do its job.
  • Instant notifications and warnings about suspicious sites and links – before you can even click on a questionable website or link, your malware prevention program will stop you and inform you that it’s potential malware.
  • Immediate malware removal – no matter the type of malware found, these programs can remove it in no time, ensuring that your device is always safeguarded.
  • Saves already-infected computers – if your PC has already been exposed to malware, software like Malware Killer™ can provide on-demand malware removal so that you’re able to use your computer once again without fear of malware.
  • Finds even the latest malware – malware prevention programs are designed to root out new and unknown threats, prohibiting even the newest forms of malware to infect your computer.
  • Protects you from identity theft and fraud – anyone can become a victim of identity theft and fraud as a result of malware, but you wouldn’t have to worry about this if you have an appropriate malware prevention and detection program.

Exterminate Malware and Keep Your Data Safe

Well, there you have it – the above tells you what you need to know about how to prevent malware. Putting these into action, however, is the critical part. iolo’s Malware Killer™ provides the perfect solution for the prevention of malware, offering first-class defense against both known and unknown forms of malware.
Being aware of how to adequately protect your computer and other devices from malware is incredibly important in an age where malware variants are expanding, and cybercriminals are increasingly persistent.  
Malware prevention or antivirus software are no longer an optional add-on for many, they are now a necessity – and a savior for already-infected computers.

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The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.